Escalating drug-related violence along the Mexico-U.S. border has claimed as many as 500 lives so far this year, challenging Mexican law enforcement and threatening to scare off tourists and investors. Two of the most recent victims were a city police chief and a municipal jail director in Baja California, gunned down on May 21 and 24. U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza has asked the State Dept. to ramp up its warning to U.S. citizens visiting border cities such as Nuevo Laredo and Ciudad Juárez, where dozens of Americans have been among the victims in the past year as turf wars intensified between drug-trafficking cartels. President Vicente Fox blamed lawmakers for failing to approve his plan to overhaul Mexico's justice system.

Edited by Rose Brady

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